2019 Term 3 Week 7   |   04.09.2019

TAS Talks Term 3 Week 7

01. From the Headmaster


Rugby 2019

The visit to Toowoomba last weekend for our rugby teams across the age groups marked the end of the 2019 season and there was plenty to celebrate in the spirit and sportsmanship of our players through what might have looked like a ‘tough day at the office’. As I reflect on the season past, with the privilege of hosting schools in Armidale, the travelling agenda that demanded and the commitment of players, coaches and families alike, I am reminded of why we undertake such things. School sport may have developed out of the need identified by Dr Arnold at Rugby School to keep young people busy out of class hours, but it is also much more than that. The experience of committing to a team, with its training and competition, unafraid of the time and effort that will take and with little consideration for the likelihood of success or not, is character development in action. It teaches those two key lessons; that little is achieved without determined effort and that the experiences of winning and losing are both important to the growth of young people. As the season ends, we will celebrate the victories and the growth in our players, as we should, but I hope that all those who look on at our sports people will also recognise the importance of the spirit that has been shown and be thankful to those coaches and managers who have made that possible.


Inter-House Public Speaking 2019

Replacing our regular assembly yesterday was the annual senior inter-house public speaking competition, with one chosen representative from each house carrying the responsibility of presenting a 5 to 6 minute speech on one of three pre-determined topics, with little time to prepare. The topics; ‘eureka’, ‘by hook or by crook’ and ‘oh brave world that has such people in it’, were all taken up, and in thoroughly prepared and entertainingly presented fashion. As I commented to the full Middle and Senior School audience today, we should take note of and celebrate the growth in public speaking in our school over recent years. The quality of presentations, the pride of houses in their champions and the efforts made combine to reflect the importance of an activity that is viewed with such trepidation across our country. That public speaking is amongst the most feared life skills by adult Australians reflects its importance and potency as much as it does the experience itself and that drives our ambition to continue to promote it. Much has been done by our leader of public speaking and debating, Tim Hughes, to create energy and excitement in this space and I offer him both thanks and encouragement to continue this good work.

Da Vinci

I made comment in TAS Talks last week about the first day of the 2019 Northern NSW da Vinci Decathlon and I am pleased to report that the three days of competition continued as another wonderfully successful event. The opportunity to host a competition that is designed around the theme of having fun with intellectual, creative and practical challenge is significant for us and a great privilege. Hundreds of aspiring young thinkers from around our region had the chance to stretch themselves in a teamwork and communication environment and I know that was valued as much by them and their teachers as it was by us. I again offer encouragement to other students thinking about being a part of this high profile event next year as well as thanks and congratulations to our da Vinci leader Catherine Boydell for her work and inspiration. I also again offer thanks to Knox Grammar which grants us licence for this Northern NSW event and pay special tribute to Dylan Sherman, an Old Boy from Knox, who assisted with our Decathlon for the seventh and final year and I wish him well as he heads to Oxford University next year to commence his doctorate in organic chemistry.


Brisbane OA Dinner

The celebrations for our 125th anniversary continued last weekend as Old Armidalians gathered in Brisbane for dinner and the chance to reconnect with their old school. The good number there for the function and dinner was hugely encouraging and reflected again what we already know; that TAS students may disperse to parts far and wide after they leave school, but their sense of remaining as Old Armidalians remains with them and is able to draw them together. I offer thanks to all those who joined us last weekend and look forward to seeing others in Melbourne later this week.


Prefects 2019/2020

Following the public speaking competition during assembly today our new prefect body to take over at the start of Term 4 was announced. The voting for our new prefects and their announcement have been made earlier this year than previously, with the purpose of providing a ‘change-over’ period to enable the experience and wisdom of our outgoing prefect body to be passed on to those who will take up that role for the coming year. As has been the case in recent years, the group announced today has been elected without change, rather than chosen, and this reflects the confidence of the School in them. The handover in the coming weeks will include having our ‘prefects elect’ join those in office for their meeting this week and beginning the leadership training that has traditionally occurred in Term 4.

I congratulate those who were announced today and listed below and wish them well as they prepare to take up their new posts next term. Our new prefects are:

Senior Prefects: Jack Nivison & Lily Neilson

Deputy Senior Prefects: Jack Sewell & Bronte Garcia


  • Lucy Ball
  • Edward Bell
  • Marcus Braham
  • William Benham
  • Ellie De Gunst
  • April Johnson
  • Sam Jones
  • Oliver Kearney
  • Alistair Le Surf
  • Cotter Litchfield
  • Molly Northam
  • Rick Nutt
  • James O’Brien
  • Sancia Ridgeway
  • Bridie Ryan

Murray Guest

02. Calendar of Events

Week 7
Wednesday 4 SeptemberHSC Industrial Technology markers at TAS

Inter-House Netball

Foundation Board Meeting

Thursday 5 SeptemberYear 8 Parent/Teacher interviews

Parent Information Session  (6.15pm)

Friday 6 SeptemberYear 8 Parent/Teacher interviews

Parent Information Session (11.45am)

125 Anniversary Melbourne Event

Saturday 7 SeptemberSTEM Academy – 12.30pm-4.00pm

Rugby Dinner ( Tattersalls Hotel – 6.30pm)

Week 8
Tuesday 10 SeptemberYear 5 PYP Exhibition
Wednesday 11 SeptemberCadet Unit Rehearsal for Passing Out Parade

Inter-House Basketball

P&F Meeting (7pm)

Thursday 12 SeptemberCadet Unit Rehearsal for Passing Out Parade

Hockey Dinner

Friday 13 SeptemberTASCU Passing Out Parade

TASCU Dining In Night ( Armidale RSL)

Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect) A Cappella Workshop – 8.30am  (Hoskins Centre)


Saturday 14 SeptemberDeke Sharon (Pitch Perfect) A Cappella Workshop – 8.30am  (Hoskins Centre)
Sunday 15 SeptemberDeke Sharon (Pitch Perfect) A Cappella Workshop – 10.00am  (Hoskins Centre)

A Cappella Concert – Hoskins Centre (5pm)


UNE Young Entrepreneur Session

UNE is hosting the following event:
Wednesday 11 & Thursday 12 September
Armidale War Library
3.30pm - 5.30pm


03. From the P&F


125th Birthday Celebration - Saturday 16 November - SAVE THE DATE!

TAS is turning 125 this year and the P&F is looking at celebrating this with a big event in November.  If you would like to help us with the planning please feel free to come along to our weekly meetings.  These will be held each Wednesday evening at 7pm in the Archdall Meeting Room in Big School.  We have one tonight Wednesday 4  September.  Please feel free to join us, all are welcome – food and drink are provided to get the creative juices going.


Brandy wanted for Christmas Puddings

The famous TAS P&F Christmas Pudding bake is coming up and prior to that we need heaps and heaps of brandy to soak the fruit in – this is what gives the puddings that spectacular taste!!  If you can donate a bottle of brandy please either drop it in at Main Reception or contact Pudding Co-ordinator Heather Williams on hwilliams@tmsmp.com.au

Pudding baking will be on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October (TBC).


Next P&F Meeting

Our next General Meeting is on Wednesday 11 September 7pm.  Everyone is welcome and we would love to see you there.


Mrs Rachael Nicoll
P&F President


04. Round Square


Round Square International Conference

The Emerald Heights International School, Indore, India – 2019

The Year 11 delegation of Jack Nivison, Sancia Ridgeway, Bronte Garcia, Ramona Nedianu and Riley Simmons will depart Armidale on Tuesday 24 September to embark on the International Round Square pre-conference tour of the northern area of India (including Mussourie, Rishakesh, Delhi and Taj Mahal) and concluding with the RS International Conference being hosted by The Emerald Heights International School, Indore, India from 3-7 October.  The conference theme is ‘Sarvodaya’ – meaning “the world we wish to see”.  Unlike last year, this conference will include all Round Square member schools and will see well over 1500 students and staff at the host school.

Mr O’Connell and Mrs Barnier will be accompanying the delegation and will be joined by Mr Guest for the conference.


Conferences 2020

9-14 March                 CheongShim International Academy, Korea for 14-15 year olds

23-27 April                  Prem Tinsulanonda Int. School, Thailand for 10-12 year olds

13-18 September       RS International Conference (Year 11 students) hosted by one of three        Australian schools (tbc)

Please note that these conferences will be attended where interest is sufficient.



We have had a healthy exchange program running again this year with 10 incoming exchange students and 8 outgoing exchange students from TAS in 2019.  We also have some Year 8 exchanges in the pipeline (usually in pairs for 2-3 weeks) within our Australian and East Asian region.


Outgoing exchange

Earlier this term we farewelled:

  • Sam Skipper to Stanford Lake College, South Africa
  • Archie McDonald to Colombia

And this week farewell:

  • Edward Boydell to Stanstead College in Canade
  • Hannah Neilson to Marvelwood School, USA.
  • Samantha Price (Year 8) to Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Bunbury for 2 weeks.

Next term Keeley O’Connor will exchange to Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Colombia.


Incoming exchange

We farewell Liam Sampson next week who will return to his school, Woodridge College in South Africa.  Liam is the last of three brothers who have all taken their exchange in Croft House over the years.

Next term we welcome three exchange students:

  • Warrick Melville from Stanford Lake College, South Africa (Abbott House);
  • Ntsako Silinda from Penryn College, South Africa (Croft House)
  • Maria-Teresa Calva-Xolalpa from Stanstead College, Canada (Girls Boarding)

Should you have any interest in exchange and conferences you should direct your enquiry to Mrs Barnier or Mr O’Connell.  More information on exchange schools and Round Square service opportunities can be found at www.rs.org


Mrs Anna Barnier
Round Square Representative

05. From the Director of Studies


Year 8 Parent Teacher Interviews

Year 8 Parent Teacher Interviews will to be held tomorrow – Thursday 5 September (3.30pm – 6pm) and Friday 6 September 2pm – 5.30pm)
Two Parent Presentations will also be held – one on Thursday evening 5 September beginning 6.15pm and a repeat session on Friday 6 September at 11.45am. All Year 8 students will attend the session on Friday.

If you have not received information or your webcode for Year 8 parent teacher interviews please contact Mrs Vickey O’Brien – 6776 5806 or vobrien@as.edu.au who will be able to make late bookings for you.

A link to the Stage 5 subject Handbook will be sent to parents and students in the next day.


End of Course Year 11 exams

Year 11 exams will be held in Week 9 (16 – 20 September).
Study Tips from A++ students………   https://www.studiosity.com/blog/how-to-study-a-guide-for-hsc-students

  1. Establish a routine
  2. Create a study environment that fosters productively
  3. Set a timetable
  4. Study smarter – be prepared, don’t cram
  5. Look after yourself – drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods
  6. Reward yourself for studying
  7. Have variety in your study program
  8. Avoid interrupting your concentration
  9. Test yourself and test yourself again on what you have studied
  10. If you need help just ask!!



Tutoring in English, Maths and Science is available to students in Years 6 – 8 on Monday and Wednesday afternoons in the Library from 4 – 5pm.
Students in Years 9 and 10 have the opportunity for tutoring in Maths and Science on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 7 – 9pm  and English Tutoring on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9pm.
Specialist Maths tutoring is also available to Year 11 and 12 students on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7 – 9pm in the Library.


Mrs Seonia Wark
Director of Studies


Year 6-84pm-5pm


4pm – 5pm


Year 9-107pm-9pm



(General assistance)

Year 9-127pm-9pm

Maths (All levels)


Maths (All levels)


Year 11-127pm-9pm

(General assistance)


(General assistance)



Master Chef Japan Competition

Last week the Year 9/10 Japanese class organised a Master Chef competition to test their Language and Culinary skills by cooking four different Japanese dishes for Middle School Students during recess. The students cooked Curry Rice, Kastella cake, Dango and Takoyaki with each dish popular with the students. The competition involved making 100 dishes and the Middle School students voting for their favourite dish. It was very close, however, in the end Curry Rice was named the winner with the Kastella cake a close second.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the Middle school students to sample Japanese food and for the Year 9/10 students to make posters, recipes in Japanese and using Japanese to promote their dish to the students.

Mr Allan Moore


University visits to TAS

A number of visits from universities and colleges will be taking place this week. The program is:

Wednesday 1.30 -2.00 Principal, Mr Ross Switzer from Cromwell College University of Queensland will be talking in Upper Maxwell Room. Any student who is considering a residential college north of the border, I would strongly suggest that you attend this talk.

Thursday 1.30-2.00  Kate Krajewski – University of Newcastle – in the Hoskins Theatre. I get numerous inquiries about the University of Newcastle, so I expect a big audience for this one. Please be prompt.

Minami Takahashi from St Andrew’s College, University of Sydney, will be in Armidale to talk to prospective students about enrolment and scholarships. If you have applied for St Andrew’s, then I recommend you make an appointment with me by Friday for a formal application interview. If you would like an informal interview, then I also recommend you make an appointment with me as well. Mini will discuss applications and the college’s very generous scholarship program, most of which they try to direct to regional and rural students. If you have been considering St Andrew’s as a future college, I would encourage you to take this opportunity to hear directly from the colleges.

UAC/SRS Applications 

I am getting a number of inquiries about the UAC and SRS application process. I would encourage students to attempt the forms first and if they run into trouble contact the UAC helpline on (02) 9752 0200. They are very helpful and are far more familiar with the process than I. In most cases they will be able to answer your questions. I am your next port of call if that does not solve your problem.

The applications are reasonably straight-forward and most students should have the process well under way by now. The closing dates are 30 September for UAC and SRS applications. Early Entry applications differ depending on the university. They all have different requirements. I sent out a flyer earlier in the year which explains the conditions for early entry from the universities. Please be aware of the closing dates especially. For more details on the SRS application process please go to the link below.


Careers advice is still available if a student is unsure as to which direction they would like to head. They just need to contact me about making a suitable time for their appointment.


Educational Access Scheme (EAS)

Educational Access Schemes (EAS) aim to help students, whose education has been negatively affected during Year 11 and/or Year 12 (or equivalent), receive an offer to university.

If you think you may qualify for this scheme please go to the link below for more details



Mr Mark Taylor
Careers Advisor

06. Leadership, Service and Adventure

07. From the Director of Co-curricular


Photo Schedule

Next Friday, 13 September, will be a busy day at TAS. Many students will be juggling Winter Photos with the Deke Sharon workshops. As the photos wind up, all of Middle and Senior School will move onto Adamsfield for the Passing Out Parade. This will be followed by the Cadet Dining-in Night. This juggling is unavoidable at a busy place like TAS and prepares students for the challenges of life beyond school. I urge all students to be aware of their various commitments, organise their time effectively and seek help if it all becomes too hard.

You will notice that the attached photo schedule requires some students to be at school quite early. Whilst I apologise for any inconvenience this causes, the aim has been to avoid interruptions to class time. These photos are an important historical record and we appreciate students making the effort to be present.

Inter House Competition Commences

The Senior School Public Speaking was held today, showcasing the talent across all six houses. The standard of speeches continues to soar as an appreciative audience laughed, contemplated, cheered and applauded each of the speakers. Much of this success is due to the leadership of our Public Speaking Captains, Phebe Hunt and Henry O’Neil along with the guidance and inspiration provided by our Public Speaking Co-ordinators, Mr Hughes and Miss Lo. I join many others in expressing my gratitude and I encourage you to read the full report provided by Mr Hughes below.

The competition continues today with netball. This is the first time that houses have stood alone in such a competition and is a reflection of the growing participation and interest in netball at TAS. It is not uncommon to see the First XV facing off against the First VII on the Middle School courts but today all teams will be mixed. It is sure to be entertaining.

Hopefully this will whet your appetite for the ADNA semi-finals this Saturday at Lynches Road, where four of our five teams will be competing. I encourage as many students as possible to get along to support the girls.

  • TAS 1 v VIP Pulse on court A @ 1:20
  • TAS 2 v ACSC Pegasus on court B @ 12:00
  • TAS 4 v ASC Blaze on court 1 @ 1:20
  • TAS 5 v PLC 6 on court 5 @ 2:40

Upcoming Events:

    • Netball, Wednesday 4 September, 3:45 – 5:30pm, Middle School Courts. *
    • Middle School Public Speaking, Thursday 5 September 2:00 – 2:45pm, Hoskins Centre
    • Basketball, Wednesday 11 September, 3:45 – 5:30pm, Belfield Courts. *
    • Touch Football, Wednesday 18 September, 3:45 – 5:30pm, Backfield

* Students who are selected to represent their House will be excused from Passing Out Parade Practice – spectators are not excused.


Finals time

Whilst some teams will progress through to semi-finals and finals, others will finish their season this weekend. Students will naturally want to take a break or move onto the next adventure. However, it is important to check with your coach / MIC of your sport, to confirm when training will cease, as this will vary from sport-to-sport and team-to-team. Summer sport will not commence officially until Term 4. Although, trials will occur for some senior teams this term. Please keep an eye out for further information or contact your MIC.

Mr Will Caldwell
Director of Co-curricular

Winter Photo Schedule

Public Speaking and Debating News

“Wise, witty, inspiring, humble, passionate and engaging.“ Mr Guest attributed a single adjective to each of the six speeches when he adjudicated yesterday’s Senior School inter-house public speaking competition held during Assembly, but collectively it also said much about the quality of the competition itself.

Each speaker selected one of three phrases for their speech: ‘Eureka’, ‘By hook or by crook’ or the literary quote ‘Oh brave new world that has such people in it’ – the phrases having been used previously in the prestigious GPS/CAS Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition, in which TAS has for the past two years participated. Speaking first for Ross House, Lucy Ball pyscho-analysed what it is that allows the ‘Eureka’ moment to happen – ultimately delivering the reassurance that it doesn’t have to happen, at all. Jesse Streeting (Green) used humour to re-interpret the title of Aldous Huxley’s novel as a call for bravery when faced with a new or challenging circumstance, thus opening the door to a new world of opportunity. Georgia Day-Caldicott (Tyrrell) – the youngest competitor, in Year 9 – offered inspiration from three powerful women who achieved their goals by pursuing them ‘by hook or by crook’, urging others to do the same.


Representing their houses in this year’s senior public speaking competition were (clockwise from front left) Jack Nivison, Lucy Ball, Jesse Streeting, Phebe Hunt, Georgia Day-Caldicott and Lachlan Reiss-Wears



Jack Nivison (Abbott) took the same phrase in a different direction, cautioning the need for a moral compass as a safety valve to ensure that history did not again allow ambition be achieved by ‘whatever it takes’ as it did under Caesar, Hitler and Stalin. In a passionate dissertation, Phebe Hunt (Broughton) asserted that despite protestations to the contrary, 21st century was not a brave new world of equality of opportunity and that only our actions rather than words will be the drivers of true progress in overcoming social injustice. Lastly Lachlan Reiss-Wears (Croft) engaged the audience with a plea to not let the little ‘Eureka’ moments of the minutiae of life get in the way of focussing on the truly important big issues faced by the world.

In the end only four points separated first and sixth place – and the winner, by just one point, was Lachlan Reiss-Wears. Well done to all competitors, and best of luck to those representing their Houses in the Middle School competition which will be held during Period 6 tomorrow.

In Debating news, success continues for our Year 9/10 team who on Monday defeated Mamre Anglican School, Sydney in round 6 of the National Virtual Debating Competition. Mamre were Affirmative, proposing ‘That plastic shopping bags should be banned from all retail outlets’. TAS was the Negative and whilst commending the idea of ridding the world of plastics, successfully countered with substantive evidence including questioning the true impact of such a move, whether it would just replace rubbish with different rubbish, and how it would be implemented. Well done to Will Jubb, Henry Moore, Hugo Catterall and Hudson McAllister – the next fixture will be against St Luke’s Anglican School, Bundaberg.

Elsewhere, next week PLC will host round 2 of the Tri-Schools Shield. TAS will be fielding teams in Years 6, 7 and 8 and hoping to build on their skills.


Mr Tim Hughes
Debating and Public Speaking coordinator

New Zealand Rugby Development Tour 2020

A wonderful opportunity exists for boys in Year 10 and 11 in 2020 be part of the New Zealand Rugby Development Tour.  TAS has been taking Development Squads to the South Island of New Zealand since 2005. Tour activities include skiing, jet boating, games against NZ schools, tours and coaching sessions with Crusaders coaches and players.

The cost for players is approximately $4200. Most meals, transport to Sydney, return flights, travel insurances, travelling and playing kit, along with all the tour activities are included in this approximate cost.

Numbers will be limited for this tour and those attending are expected to be part of Opens Rugby teams during their schooling at TAS. If you have any questions, please contact myself at awhalley@as.edu.au or Rachael Edmonds at redmonds@as.edu.au

Click HERE to view DRAFT Itinerary.

Mr AJ Whalley
Director of Rugby

08. From the Creative Arts Coordinator


On Monday our Visual Arts students submitted their Bodies of Work, and our Drama students had their performance examinations. For all those students Monday brought a great many months of work to a close and I congratulate all for their hard work, passion and creativity – celebrate what you have accomplished and feel at greater easy with this significant portion of your HSC already complete. Our HSC Music 1, Music 2 and Extension Music students will submit their compositions and then perform in the following two weeks and so we wish them the very best as they near the end of their practical journey. For all those students in Year 11, or those in Year 10 considering 2020 subject choices, I encourage you to speak with these Seniors and hear about their experiences, their joys, and how they would council you to approach your studies with their gift of hindsight.

A reminder to grab your tickets to the A Capella workshops next Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 – there will be no other Music experience like this in Armidale and this chance to work with such an internationally-recognised Hollywood artist is not to be missed.

Finally, as students in both Year 10 and Year 8 start to think about subject choices for Year 11 and Stage 5 I encourage you all to speak with the Creative Arts teachers, as well as the Senior students, to find out what is involved in those areas. There are many courses on offer that attempt to provide an incredibly broad range of experiences, as well as allowing you to explore your interests and passions, and I know that year after year the project-based nature of the Creative Arts in the HSC provides a real academic advantage. So please chat with your class teachers or swing by the Hoskins Centre office if you have questions.

Mr Andrew O’Connell

Creative Arts Coordinator

From the Director of Music

Deke Sharon at TAS

Deke Sharon is an American singer, arranger, composer, director, producer and teacher of a cappella music and is one of the leaders and promoters of the contemporary a cappella community and a pioneer of the contemporary a cappella style. He has been referred to as “the father of contemporary a cappella” by Entertainment Weekly. Deke is visiting Australia and will take time out from his busy schedule to visit Armidale……. don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity for music educators and students to work one on one with this extraordinarily talented musician and teacher.

Deke has his a cappella fingers in many pies, arranging music (Broadway’s In Transit), music directing movies (Pitch Perfect 1, 2 & 3), and producing television’s The Sing Off (US, Holland, China, South Africa), music directing BBC’s Pitch Battle, directing professional groups (Vocalosity), performing (TotalVocal at Carnegie Hall), coaching (Lifetime’s Pitch Slapped) producing albums (Straight No Chaser) and events (Camp A Cappella), publishing arrangements with Hal Leonard, while teaching and promoting a cappella worldwide.

09. From the Head of Middle School


Passing Out Parade

We want to thank Mr Angus Murray and his staff for the time and effort they have given to preparing our Year 8 students for this year’s Passing Out Parade. Our Year 8s have been rehearsing well and are looking great. It’s also good that a member of staff from the senior school came specifically to see us to make comment about their good behaviour. It’s so good simply to get some positives. However, it’s clear he wasn’t coming to speak to us about their shoes. Simply, they’re not good and I accept part responsibility here. Please, day student parents / families, help me. Boot polish needs to be applied reasonably regularly. We’ll do our best here with boarders, as well.
A reminder to all Year 6 and Year 7 students about Passing Out Parade: all must wear their formal uniform, including akubras (boys) / straw hats (girls) for this special occasion.


Da Vinci Decathlon reflections by Year 6, 7 and 8 students

Year 6

The da Vinci challenges were a refreshing vacation from basic school work, allowing talented minds to express their knowledge. Based off logic and put into real life situations we were learning important life skills.The decathlon was in three sections: Section 1 included Mathematics, English, Science and Ideation; Section 2 with Creative Producers, Engineering, Art & Poetry and cartography; Section 3 with General Knowledge and Code Breaking. There were also many more fun activities in-between. TAS submitted three different teams, one in Year 6, one in Year 5 and a mixed Year 5-6 team. The Year 6 team placed 3rd overall, coming 3rd in Cartography and 2nd in Creative Producers, English and Engineering;

The Year 5-6 team came First in Science and Third in English; finally the Year 5 team placed Second in Creative Producers and Third in English and Science. We look forward to competing in da Vinci next year and encourage anyone who is offered the chance in the future to participate.

By Hugo Li, Ty Schalk O’Brien, Austin Pease and Camilla Coupland

Year 7

Throughout the competition we participated in several different challenges including Maths, Science, English, Ideation, Engineering, Art and Poetry, Cartography, Creative Producers, General Knowledge and Code Breaking as well as a couple of small quizzes. The da Vinci Decathlon was a wonderful opportunity for us to learn new content and work as a team with people we do not usually collaborate with. We competed with schools from within the region such as Narrabri, Tamworth, Inverell and many more places. Our favourite challenge was Art and Poetry as we got to create a poem that made sense from top to bottom and bottom to top this then went with an artwork about a problem, we are passionate about. Others in the group enjoyed engineering the most, but we can all agree that the creative challenges were the best. In the competition the Year 7 TAS team placed first in English and Ideation, Second in Creative Producers and Code Breaking and third overall. The Year 5/6 and 8 teams placed highly in a collection of challenges with the Year 6 team coming third overall. This competition is very exciting and would be a great experience for those who are interested.

By Nina Taylor and Bella Fernance

Year 8

The da Vinci team for Year 8 included Eliza Crawford, Tom Slack-Smith, Emily Buntine, Jasper O’Neil, Lilly-Beatrice Holmes-Bradshaw, Luisa Wilkinson, Guy Hardin and Harry Turnbull. They were victorious in the categories of Cartography and Creative Producers. Jasper O’Neil says that the experience was “ a great chance to learn new things”. Emily Buntine commentate that the day “was a great chance to meet people from other schools”. They both said “it was an excellent chance to get out of their comfort zone and do something new and fun with friends”.

By Emily Buntine and Jasper O’Neil

Needless to say, perhaps, but these events don’t appear miraculously out of the ether. Catherine Boydell, Colette Brus and Elaine McKellar deserve thanks from all quarters: they spent hours preparing, copying, organising and revising and still managed to present so well as individuals and the TAS collective during the three days of operation of the Northern NSW da Vinci Decathlon held at and hosted by TAS last week.


Mr Mark Harrison
Head of Middle School

IB MIddle Years Programme

Middle School Middle Years Programme (MYP)

Last week I introduced how the IB Middle Years Programme is being implemented in our Middle School, and it aims to engage students with understanding big ideas, rather than purely memorising facts. A big part of why the Middle Years Programme is so special is the common language that all staff and students engage with.

What is important to understand about the IB MYP, is that it is a flexible framework that accommodates our local NESA curriculum requirements to be met, yet taught in a more engaging way, whilst encouraging students to make connections between their studies and the real world.


The Curriculum

The MYP consists of eight subject groups: language acquisition, language and literature, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education, and design.
The MYP: a unique approach, relevant for a global society

The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community.

MYP teachers organise the curriculum with appropriate attention to:

  • Teaching and learning in context. Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and the world that they have experienced. Using global contexts, MYP students explore human identity, global challenges and what it means to be internationally minded.
  • Conceptual understanding. Concepts are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. MYP students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically.
  • Approaches to learning (ATL). A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these skills help students learn how to learn.
  • Service as action (community service). Action (learning by doing and experiencing) and service have always been shared values of the IB community. Students take action when they apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. Service as action is an integral part of the programme, especially in the MYP community project.
  • Language and identity – MYP students are required to learn at least two languages. Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to their development of intercultural understanding and crucial to their identity affirmation.


Ms Rachel Piddington
MYP Coordinator

10. From the Head of Junior School


Fantastic Father's Day

What a fantastic turn out for last Friday’s Sausage Sizzle, acknowledging and celebrating the meaningful men in the lives of our students. With the kitchen working overtime to cater, it was fantastic to see the numbers in our playground and of course, competing in the Tug O’ War. Thank you for all your ongoing support.

Student Lead Reflections – 19 September – 1.15 pm – 3.15 pm

Last year, as part of our commitment to the IB –  Primary Year’s Programme Years 3 and 4 held Student Led Reflections in Term 3. This provided the students an opportunity to prepare for and lead a time of reflection about their progress, any special achievements and the chance to share goals for the end of the year with their parents. This term, all classes from Transition to Year 4 will hold SLR’s in specific locations (tba). This is designed to offer a more concrete and meaningful dimension to the concept of assessment for learning and increased student agency, while providing parents greater insight into students’ work. As a result, this will improve the opportunity to discuss specific aspects of interest in your children’s work. The feedback from last year was very positive including comments along the lines of, “It is really clear to see the energy and dedication of the students; The students have a really clear understanding of the learning that has occurred and they found some great ways to express it; It is exciting to hear the students themselves talking about what they have learned.”

As it is throughout the year, the opportunity remains for parents to contact teachers if there is a particular need to discuss aspects of their children’s progress and development This can be organised as usual through Junior School Reception on 6776 5817. Please note this date so as not to miss this important opportunity on 19 September.


PYP Exhibition

Year 5 have (almost) completed many weeks of work on their PYP Exhibition which will be set up in the Hoskins Centre foyer on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. If you do have time to drop in for a look , I am sure the students (and their mentors and teachers) would appreciate it. The Exhibition is a major component of the PYP and the culmination of many intense weeks of work and we congratulate them all of their efforts and the very polished nature of the presentations.


Prac Student

Welcome to Maddie Eastcott-Layton who is completing her practicum with Year 1 and Mrs Hardin.


Dress ups in Kindergarten

Kindergarten would like to build up its dress up options for imaginative play. If you have any dress ups at home that are no longer being used because they don’t fit or are no longer the flavour of the month, we would love some donations. We are mostly hoping for costumes that connect to our Term 4 unit on fairy tales but are happy to accept any costume that spark the imagination! Please no guns or swords.


Absentee advice

If your child is unwell and can’t come to school, please notify the Junior School via email to junior@as.edu.au or phone 6776 5817 before 9.00 am. Any absence for reasons other than medical appointments,  must be accompanied by an Exemption from School form which can be found on the School website link attached:

https://publications.as.edu.au/parent-forms/      It is a NESA requirement that we have correct information on students’ whereabouts.


School Spirit Awards

Congratulations to the following students for receiving School Spirit Awards at last week’s assembly:

Ted Draney, Hunter Crane, Lucie Stephen, Dominic Leary, Joshua Bourke, Jacqui DuBois, Chelsea Miller, Lucy Taylor, Jack Maitz, Micael O’dell, Salam Alkhathami, Andrew Alkhouri, Ryne Wilkinson, Saleh Alrdadi, Lachlan Brett, Sam Vrkic, Mila Downes. French awards also went to Levi Watts, Chelsea Miller and Ani Anderson.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to the following Junior School children that celebrate their birthdays this week: Aamer Alazizi, Ana de las Heras Saldana, Sinclair Little, Angus Tydd and Ryne Wilkinson.


Mr Ian Lloyd
Head of Junior School 

Scholastic Book Club

Thank you to all parents who have been ordering from the Scholastic brochures. The latest brochure from Scholastic (no. 6) is now available and orders should be placed through the Scholastic LOOP order website by Friday 13 September.

Please follow the instructions on the order page inside the brochure, or follow the prompts on the website.  Should you wish to pay by cheque, please place your cheque and order form in an envelope in the red letterbox at the Junior School office.  Should you need any assistance, please contact me at nramazan@as.edu.au.

Mrs Natalie Ramazani

Library Assistant  

Junior School Upcoming Events

Week 7
Wednesday 4 SeptemberYear 2 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)
Saturday 7 SeptemberSTEM Academy Open Day (12.3opm)
Week 8
Tuesday 10 SeptemberYear 5 PYP Exhibition Opening
Wednesday 11 SeptemberYear 5 PYP Exhibition Open for Junior School

Year 5 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)

Week 9
Wednesday 18 SeptemberTransition Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)
Thursday 19 SeptemberStudent Led Conference
Week 10
Wednesday 25 SeptemberYear 3 Assembly – Hoskins Centre (2.45pm)
Thursday 26 SeptemberClasses Conclude
Term 4 – Week 1
Monday 14 OctoberStaff Day
Tuesday 15 OctoberClasses Resume

IB Primary Years Programme

PYP Year 1

Year 1 have almost completed their inquiry focussing on the transdisciplinary theme, ‘How We Organise Ourselves’. Throughout this unit their focus has been on the fact that communities provide services designed to meet people’s needs.

They had a wonderful excursion out and about in the local community last week where Mr Scott was such as risk taker as he drove the bus and arrived at various destinations based on the directions written and communicated by the Year 1 students.

Their assessment was a reflection on the unit where students were given the opportunity to demonstrate their new knowledge and understandings. In the assessments students reflected upon the central idea and the three lines of inquiry:

  1. Communities provided services to meet people’s needs
  2. Roles and responsibilities of community members (Responsibility)
  3. The services that are created to support a community (Function)
  4. What communities are and which ones do we belong to? (Connection)

Mrs Veronica Waters
PYP Coordinator

Junior School Sport

General Information about Summer Sports for Transition to Year 4 children

(Please note that Year 5 children will be selecting from Middle School choices this year)

Junior School students (T-4) will be choosing their summer sport this week. With this in mind, a description of the various options appears below.

Junior School Policy re Participation in Sport

All students in Year 3 and above will participate in one summer sport in Terms 4 and Term 1, 2020. Students in Year 2 and below do not have to participate but are encouraged to do so. If students in Year 2 or below do participate they will commit to the sport (including training sessions) for the duration of that season. Training times and sessions vary depending on the chosen sport.


Description of Sports available:


To make cricket enjoyable and fun, different age groups play according to different rules. All games are played on Saturday mornings. Registration and insurance fees apply. See separate cricket groups for costings. Active kids vouchers can be used for all cricket registrations, and all registrations are done online in order to allow for Active Kids vouchers to be used. Forward your Active Kids voucher receipt to Mrs Christine Wright.

The different competitions are:

Master Blaster Cricket (Typically Year K-2)

Training: Monday afternoons

Games: Saturday mornings

More information on Saturday morning sessions will be available once the association have finalized this Summer Programme. Stay tuned!


Cricket U10s (typically Year 3 and Year 4)

Training: Monday afternoons

Games: Saturday mornings  

(Players must be under 10 on 1st September 2019) This format is designed for those kids who are ready for their first taste of junior club competition. Designed to stimulate action and test game sense and skills whether batting, bowling or fielding. Teams consist of 8 players per side. Games start at 9:00am and finish by 11:10am (2 hour games). Each team faces 16 overs. The team’s score is determined by dividing the number of runs scored by the number of wickets lost, plus one. The higher average score wins the match. Each player must bowl 2 overs. Cost will be approx. $100 for the season.

Cricket for U12s (typically Year 5 and Year 6)

Training: Monday and Wednesday afternoons

Games: Saturday mornings

(Players must be under 12 on 1st September 2019) A format that looks to further develop the cricket skills of kids that are playing their 2nd or 3rd year of junior cricket. The emphasis here is on continuous and active participation, where all players get to bat, bowl and field in a 3-hour window. The team consists of 9 players. Games start at 9am and finish by 12.10pm. A team’s innings consists of 25 overs per side. A batsman must retire after facing 20 balls, unless already dismissed, and may come back into bat later in the innings. All players will get the opportunity to bowl. Cost will be approx. $100 for the season.


Swimming: This is not for beginners.

In choosing this sport, children should be able to competently swim at least two laps of the TAS pool. Parents wanting ‘Learn to Swim’ lessons for their children are encouraged to contact the TAS Sports Centre on 6776 5866, to arrange lessons. All swimmers will train in the TAS pool on Thursdays from 3:45pm to 4:45pm. The instructor concentrates on stroke correction and improving fitness. Additionally, students are expected to join the TAS based ‘Alligators Swim Club’ (approx. $75 for the season) which holds Club nights every Wednesday night at the TAS pool from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. These are not only good opportunities to improve fitness and speed but are good social occasions as well. Costs will be $10 per week and the Alligators membership.


Gymnastics: K-2

Held at the Armidale Gymnasium. There will sessions on Mondays from 3:50 – 4:50pm run by qualified Level 1 coaches provided by Armidale Gymnastics Club. The cost is approximately $190 for the season (Term 4 and Term 1, 2020). Children will travel by bus to and from the gym with staff members supervising all sessions and travel.

Tennis:  Years K- 4

Hot Shots Tennis program. 

Students will participate in the MLC Tennis Hot Shots, led by Justin Sheriff. There will be two levels of the program offered. ‘Hot Shots Red Ball’ will be for beginners and suited to students aged 5-8. (T-Year 2) This will be held on Monday afternoons from 4pm – 4.45pm. Students in the Red stage play on a smaller court, use a larger ball, which doesn’t bounce as high.

Students in Years 3 and above will participate in ‘3-5 Red and Orange Ball’. Training will also be held on Monday afternoons from 4pm – 4.45pm. The Orange stage of the program is also on a reduced court size and the ball has less compression.

These small group lessons will cost $99 for each summer term (Term 4 and Term 1, 2020)

More information on the MLC Tennis Hot Shots program, is available at: http://hotshots.tennis.com.au/


Ball Skills: Transition – Year 2

This training session is for T-2 only and will be based around the ball skills required for games such as tennis, cricket, basketball and netball. Children will participate in the Monday afternoon training session at TAS. There is no cost for Ball Skills.

 BasketballYears 3-4

Games will be held at the Armidale High School Den on Monday afternoons from 4:00pm. Trainings will be on Wednesdays at TAS. Registration fees are approximately $110 per season.


Indoor Hockey: Years 2-4

Indoor Hockey games will occur on Friday afternoons between the hours of 4-7pm in the TAS Gym. Students should have either an Indoor hockey stick or have their stick taped for training and games during the season. Training will occur on Monday afternoons. Cost is $5 per game.



U7s Tornadoes 

This Saturday the Tornadoes came up against some tough competition from Walcha. While it was a tough game their spirit continued and grew with their first goal from Will Dennison! The team should be extremely impressed with their sportsmanship and their perseverance! They all participated so well, particularly with passing it between each other. Next week will be our last game and hopefully our greatest!

Ms Belinda Macri


TAS White and TAS Blue (Under 12’s)

For the week leading up to Saturday the match between these two rival TAS teams (TAS White and TAS Blue) had been excitedly considered as the blockbuster finish to the 2019 season, AND IT CERTAINLY DIDN’T DISAPPOINT.

The energy was high as the two teams took to the field and right from the start the ball was fiercely contested. The first half was fast paced, with both teams turning ferocious defence into well timed line attacks. Play was physical with everyone on the team putting their bodies on the line; the clash of boot against shin pad rang out across the field. As the whistle blew to announce half time the score remained nil all.

Commencement of play was delayed due to a pitch invader on a bike. This provided both the players and supporters with a good laugh. Finally, the small invader was coaxed from the pitch and play resumed.

The second half was just as fierce leading to a barrage of attacks from the TAS Blue team. TAS White gallantly held on until a TAS Blue striker (Oli Goudge) finally found the back of the net with a lofted kick. Not losing the desire to level the score TAS White made a brilliant break up the centre of the field and was fortunate enough to be awarded a penalty kick. The sideline went quiet, the players stood still, and Blake Whitehill found the back of the net. The score was now level at one all and there was no way either team was letting another goal through. The teams played their hearts out and at the full-time whistle were proud to announce they had drawn one all. It certainly was one of the best games of the year.


TAS White v Blue; with the full time score of 1-1, it was certainly a great game for all.

Blake Whitehill scores with his equalising penalty

Community Notices